|Nationwide viewing of cover crop conference available|
|Wednesday, January 29, 2014 9:05 PM|
BY JAMES J. HOORMAN
Growers interested in cover crops and soil health can view a live broadcast of the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at several Ohio locations, including the OSU Hancock County Extension meeting room at 7868 County Road 140 in Findlay, said Alan Sundermeier, an OSU Extension educator who helped organize the nationwide viewing.
The broadcast will feature a panel discussion of farmers, including David Brandt, a Carroll farmer who works with OSU Extension to host classes, presentations and workshops at his farm on several agronomic subjects. These include conservation tillage methods, cover crops and soil health, Sundermeier said.
The local viewings will allow farmers who aren’t able to attend the national cover crops convention next month in Omaha, Neb., to hear from national experts and to participate in discussions on cover crops and soil health specific to the needs of local farmers, Sundermeier said.
“We’ve been doing cover crop education for a while and this will allow farmers a chance to interact on a national level with USDA and other farmers from across the county to get their perspective on cover crops,” he said. “The local broadcasts will have facilitated discussions at each location to help people fine-tune their cover crop management in local areas.”
Local broadcasts, which are free and open to the public, will also be shown at U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offices, including the Mercer County Soil and Water Office at 220 West Livingston St. in Celina.
The national conference and the local forums are jointly funded by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, with planning support from NRCS, the Midwest Cover Crops Council and the Soil and Water Conservation Society.
“Healthy soil, we know one when we see one” - Dwayne Beck, Shaun Casteel and Emerson Nafziger headline the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference March 4-5. The annual CTC is taking shape with over 60 speakers.
The event will be held at Ohio Northern University in Ada. Previous recipients have been email or mailed information about this conference, which attracted over 900 participants this past year.
Full program information can be found at www.ctc.osu.edu. Registration is $65 per day or $85 for two days. Late registration after Feb. 21 is $80 for one day and $105 for two days. Certified Crop Advisor credits are available.
“Starlings!” – From Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County, OSU Extension - With the prolonged spell of cold plus snow cover across Ohio, starlings and similar pests are once again a problem on livestock farms. Nuisance birds are particularly troublesome on farms which have exposed feed in feeders and bunks that these pests can easily get to. Not only can these birds carry and transmit disease but they consume expensive feed. As Steve Boyles described in this publication last year, an average starling weighing 85 g can consume over two pounds of feed in a 30-day period. Commonly seeing 1,000 or more starlings at a feed bunk in the kind of weather we are experiencing, that’s more than a ton of feed lost to birds in only a month’s time! To continue reading this and other beef articles, go to http://beef.osu.edu/beef/beefJan2214.html.
Cold Weather Tips: With Arctic air setting in, here are some crucial pet and livestock tips from Clemson University:
• Hypothermia and dehydration are the two most probable life-threatening conditions for animals in cold weather.
• Wet conditions and wind chill add greatly to the cold-stress for animals (and people).
• Pets should be brought inside or into protected covered areas, provided with plenty of bedding and food and drinking water.
• Livestock should be provided with wind-break and roof shelter and monitored for signs of discomfort (extensive shivering, weakness, lethargy, etc.)
• It is very important that livestock be provided extra hay/forage/feed as up to double the calories for normal body heat maintenance may be needed in extreme cold.
• It is critical that animals have access to drinking water. Usual water sources may freeze solid in low temperatures and dehydration becomes a life-threatening factor.
• Special attention should be paid to very young and old animals. They may be less able to tolerate temperature extremes and have weaker immune systems.